Full of jazz, fantastic food, theatre and architectural gems, Bronzeville is a community known for its rich history, historic landmarks and vibrant small business scene. The South Side neighborhood has vast cultural contributions and is considered the center of Chicago’s African-American history. Today, we dive into its past and present, and why so many people are drawn to the community.
A Brief History
During America’s Great Migration, African-Americans came to Chicago looking for work and a new start. Due to segregation of the time, they were restricted in where they could live; despite these restrictions, the residents worked tirelessly to create a thriving community teaming with businesses, culture and institutions. Bronzeville was home to many pioneers in many industries, including Louis Armstrong, Ida B. Wells, Jesse Owens, and more. As Chicago has changed over the decades, Bronzeville has remained a strong community, with a rich history and powerful legacy. Today, Bronzeville still maintains an entrepreneurial spirit and cultural importance to the city.
What to Explore
With plenty of coffee shops, museums, galleries, libraries, monuments and eateries, it’s hard to know where to start exploring Bronzeville, but there are a few spots you just can’t miss. Eméché Cakery & Café has amazing coffee and baked goods, Pearl’s Place offers incredible Southern fare, and Ain’t She Sweet Café is the perfect spot to pick up a light lunch. Walking Bronzeville’s streets is a great way to absorb the public art and architecture, not to mention you can catch glimpses of the homes of famous former residents. The South Side Community Art Center is also worth a visit, and continues to host virtual and ticketed in-person events through COVID-19.
What to Consider as a Resident
Bronzeville is a mixture of historic homes and modern condo buildings, but the neighborhood truly shines through its Victorian-era architecture and 19th-century mansions, with some homes dating back to the 1870s. The area has a range of townhomes, two-/three-flats and single-family homes, and reasonable prices compared to other neighborhoods. With proximity to downtown and an array of arts, culture and activities, it’s no wonder so many love Bronzeville.
If you’re interested in searching for your own place in Bronzeville, feel free to contact someone from our team. And stay tuned for more neighborhood spotlights on our blog!
Photo courtesy of The City of Neighborhoods